In this blog I would particularly like to highlight a feature provided by WXTR and COBOL for AIX together to help manage the data stored in VSAM formats using DB2.
Most of the legacy COBOL applications particularly written for a CICS environment use VSAM files for storing business data. On a distributed platform say Unix'es and Windows there are software available to host these VSAM data such as TXSeries provided Structured File Server (SFS) where you can create and manage KSDS, ESDS, and RRDS based VSAM datasets. However think of... if we can manage these data in a relational database and leverage the power the database technologies provide us. This is similar to a tool available on system z platforms called CICS VSAM Transparency. And this is where WXTR and COBOL For AIX provides you the feature to transparently manage the VSAM data using DB2.
What this means is that WXTR allows you to store the VSAM data on a relational database (RDBMS) such as DB2 while retaining your COBOL and/or CICS/COBOL applications as-is. With this your applications or business logic built for the underlying data wouldn't change - we don't want you to change the data model that is built already and is proven.
Not the least, there are other benefits that this feature would provide:
- The database technology is much mature or robust as compared to any VSAM emulators available on AIX (or other distributed platforms).
- Managing of data for example, backing up, restoring or even recovery would be comparatively easier using the database provided tools.
- A standardised way to access to data - You can mix the SQL way of accessing of data in your applications. With this you can leverage the relational access of the business data.
- You can make your data available in clustering environment, by making the database cluster aware.. using DB2 PureScale for example.